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Religious Instruction

Volume 927: debated on Friday 11 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps are being taken to see that the religious and moral areas of the curriculum are adequately featured both in the preparatory working papers and in personal representation at the regional conferences on school education in England and Wales.

The present debate on education is concerned primarily with the secular curriculum, and this is reflected in the background document prepared for the regional conferences. The importance of the religious and moral aspects of education is, however, fully recognised, and the conferences are being attended by representatives of the main religious organisations in the country.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what provisions are being made for the training of an adequate number of religious education specialists in the North-East of England; and what plans she has for St. Mary's College, Fenham, in particular.

The Department has asked institutions and providing bodies in the North-East and throughout England and Wales to make forward plans on a regional basis to ensure that specialist initial training provision in religious education is, if possible, increased in proportion to total provision in a reduced teacher training system.Recent proposals by my right hon. Friend envisage the cessation of teacher training at St. Mary's, Fenham, and further discussion within the region in consequence about the future provision of particular courses or facilities.